The Afghanistan Question
MSNBC reports Sec. of Defense Robert Gates gave President Barack Obama General Stanley McChrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, before it was vetted NATO, General Petraeus and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Gates wanted Obama to read the request before the story was dominating the news cycle. My question is who leaked the request?
We know the White House was unhappy with Gen. McChrystal publicly stating the need for more troops at International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. There is no question McChrystal broke protocol. There may have been good reason. Obama met McChrystal was he was appointed the top military leader in Afghanistan. Obama did not meet McChrystal again until after the speech and leak. Did McChrystal or one of his officers leak the troop request because they felt Obama was ignoring Afghanistan?
Relations between Gen. McChrystal and the White House are in shambles. If Gen. McChrystal fails to deliver results the White House will make him own the Afghanistan policy.
I understand why Obama is being deliberate with Afghanistan. There is no margin for error. Is Obama intent on policy of solely hunting al-Qaeda or nation building? The White House has been silent on the rigged elections. The White President has recognized Hamid Karzai as the victor. Obama would be in denial if he believed Afghanistan could one day be a vibrant democracy.
The Left doesn't want an addition of 40,000 troops. Training Afghans to fight under the Karzai government would be a disaster. Karzai does not have the support of the people and has never shown the ability to govern. Karzai would flee the country and al-Qaeda would once again have Afghanistan as a safe haven. The Right has focused on Iraq. The Right hasn't bothered to learn Afghanistan's history or what is going on in the country. How many times have you heard Bill Kristol press the Afghanistan issue during the Bush years. The solutions to Afghanistan (if there is a solution) are outside the spectrum of political ideology.